BOYLE – Political experience won’t be an issue if Colin Piquette is voted onto Boyle village council in the Oct. 18 municipal election, but among the seven candidates vying for the village’s five council seats, he is the only one who hasn’t sat around that table before.
The former MLA is up against incumbents Mike Antal, Colin Derko, Pat Ferguson, Shelby Kiteley and Barb Smith, while former councillor Sam Assaf has also put his name forward.
Piquette, originally from Plamondon, left the area to go to university in the city and spent some time teaching English in Korea before returning home to work in the family insurance business. He moved with his family to Boyle about a decade ago and hasn’t regretted it a bit.
“I've been connected to this area for my entire life,” he said in an interview Sept. 29. “Boyle is a walkable community where people know each other, and it just seemed like a better place and plus I could work a nine-to-five job … I like the lifestyle and I like knowing the neighbours. You can feel very disconnected (in the city) in a way that you don’t feel in the country.”
Piquette said he learned a lot as MLA in the four years he was in the position, and while he may have represented a larger population base than he will if elected in Boyle, he doesn’t see it as any kind of demotion as the decisions made are equally as important and affect the lives of residents just the same
“The issues are similar, and you're still dealing with people, you're still dealing with interactions between people,” Piquette said. “The municipal level is kind of where the rubber hits the road.”
As far as some of the issues he would like to tackle in the village, tourism and economic development is a big one. Piquette said he would like to see more coming out of the TED committee, though he is encouraged by the cooperation he’s seeing between municipalities on a number of fronts.
Piquette would also like to see the village make more of its historical and cultural attractions. He is the driving force behind a group exploring the future of the century-old Boyle Hotel but says the municipality should be more involved in promoting those attractions. In addition, the more options that are available, the more visitors, like those passing through to go to nearby lakes, will become part of the fabric of the community.
Moreover, improving healthcare access in the community is also a priority for Piquette, which includes being able to attract medical professionals. He would also like to work on bringing affordable childcare options to Boyle.